The Importance of History
Moscow has wanted to redraw the internal borders of the USSR, which do not reflect ethnic realities well, ever since 1991, and in this revanchist game Ukraine is the biggest prize of all. Simply put, Barack Obama is the first American president Moscow has felt they could pull this off against. [John Schindler]
Georgian officials tonight claimed the country had been ‘overrun’ by Russian troops after a full-scale ground invasion.
Amid reports that Moscow forces had taken the town of Gori - and were marching on the capital Tsblisi - Georgian soldiers appeared to be in full retreat.
Troops were apparently in complete chaos as a full-scale rout pushed them back through the countryside.
Meanwhile, the civilian crisis intensified with thousands of refugees fleeing the seemingly unstoppable advance of the Russian army.
[…]Officials in the breakaway region today claimed Georgian troops had also resumed shelling there after its calls for a ceasefire were ignored by Russia.
President Bush warned Mr Putin of his ‘grave concern’ about the ‘disproportionate’ military intervention at a face-to-face meeting in Beijing yesterday.
His Vice-President Dick Cheney also personally called the Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili over the weekend to reassure him his country has U.S backing.
Amid fears Moscow intends to seize the whole country to gain control of its crucial oil pipelines, Mr Cheney declared Russian military action ‘must not go unanswered’.
In a statement, he added: ‘Its continuation would have serious consequences for its relations with the United States, as well as the broader international community.’
Russia appeared to be totally defying the U.S. warning today, with Georgia claiming up to 50 Russian jets were roaming its skies ready to strike. [dailymail]